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The 15-member Council said in a statement that it strongly urged for warring parties to reach “an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire” in Gaza … that would allow for the delivery of “urgently needed assistance”.
The emergency session was held as Israel and Hamas exchanged mortar and rocket fire following a brief ceasefire during the weekend. Efforts to extend the ceasefire failed.
The UNSC also said it was gravely concerned “regarding the deterioration in the situation as a result of the crisis related to Gaza and the loss of civilian lives and casualties.”
On Monday morning, the death toll had reached at least 1,031 killed and more than 4,500 wounded in the Gaza Strip; in Israel, the death toll stood at 43 military personnel, two civilians, and a foreign worker.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and United Nations General-Secretary Ban Ki-Moon have been unable to broker a longer-lasting ceasefire, which would potentially have paved the way for talks to end the crisis, despite meeting with Israeli, Egyptian, Palestinian, Turkish and Qatari officials.
The UN and US have continued to back an Egyptian ceasefire initiative – endorsed by the Arab League – which was ignored by Hamas last week, as the best means to deescalate the situation.
Early on Monday, the UNSC also called for “a comprehensive peace based on the vision of a region where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognized borders as envisioned in Security Council Resolution 1850 (2008).”